Posts tagged ‘justine socco’

Mother, dare I?

While contemplating the possibility of a future with a potential [White] love interest, Ethiopian-American author Metasebia Seifu [“If I could only draw and knew how to paint” and “The Ethiopian – a love letter”] writes:

I wondered how he lost his legs, if he has ever been to America, and how he feels about black girls [for, sooner or later, one must choose sides. And my side, it has been amply made obvious to me, is with the black in America: with the children of ex-slaves, Affirmative-Action-Jacksons, and welfare queens; with violent men who behaved like pimps, with overweight women whose anger is matched only by the un-attractiveness of the face that wore it, and with kids whose violent tendency is paralleled by how badly they did in school].

After reading that passage, a mind blind to sarcasm [or suffering from a rare form of dementia] may wonder if Metasebia Seifu does indeed believe that her lot is justifiably cast with “the black in America: the children of ex-slaves, affirmative-actions-Jackson’s and welfare queens”. If she believes every time a non-black person sees her, they should associate her with obese women, angry kids, and men who wear their pants close to their knees when they aren’t decking themselves out in a flashy luxurious attire that reminds one of a male-peacock; albeit a very unattractive male peacock with a golden tooth.

A mind not blind to sarcasm, on the other hand, or isn’t suffering from a rare form of dementia, would not only realize that she doesn’t but in fact it is the bitterness brought about by such associations that makes her go into detailing other [more personal] stereotypes against her “skin kins”, as she sometimes refers to them: How they are considered violent, lazy, fat, angry, ugly, and of interior intelligence. [The late Antonin Scalia, a Supreme Court justice nonetheless, has gone so far as to observe [during a court hearing!, in the presence of the media!, and black prosecutors and white defendants!]: “There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less — a slower-track school where they do well.”] And how she feels her skin-color, through those stereotypes, is putting her at a disadvantage not just in life but in love as well.

Lessons learnt on race and sarcasm is the gist of this article by Siri Srinivas on The Guardian as it relates to Justine Socco’s infamous quote from 2013 and the fall out thereof. It argues how Justine’s comment was “so outrageous that it had to be a joke”. How, according to researchers in Israel who constructed an algorithm that can detect sarcasm, the very definition of the word is “The activity of saying or writing the opposite of what you mean, or of speaking in a way intended to make someone else feel stupid or show them that you are angry.” But since the “snowflake” “PC Police”, as Bill Maher disparagingly refers to anyone daring to take an offense against insensitivity, have made a habit of flying into [“fake”?] out/rage at any hint of whites trying to be funny or sarcastic at the expense of inferior races/minorities and/or groups of people, she was prosecuted unjustly.

Etcetera. Etcetera.

[Final conclusion provided by the blogger of this post who is fucking tired of Bill Maher’s attack on few well-meaning guys while the bad guys are tearing America and decency and goodness thread by thread]

[Speaking of stand up comedians, has any one of you came across Gary Gulman? His “It’s about time”, free on Netflix, has become my go to place when I need to laugh. Ricky Gervais should take a page from his book on how to entertain an audience without having to resort to utter vulgarism, See Ricky Gervais pedophile jokes]

Alas, Justine Socco and what became of her because of that stupid and/or misunderstood joke [but mainly stupid – because it didn’t come with a second tweet explaining how and who it was meant to mock] isn’t the reason for this post. The reason for this post is the pleasure – the absolute delight – of coming across the following article by an accomplished! gay! black! African! man [one doubts it can get more bitter/sarcastic than that] – attached to the aforementioned The Guardian article.

[Have I mentioned how I love, nay, worship Kenyan men? How I believe them to be the most elegant, intelligent, and well-spoken guys in Africa?! How I have had a crush on four of the four Kenyan men I have had the pleasure of working with – while still in love and in a relationship with men of my choice?! And how I would not hesitate to spend the rest of my life with a man from Kenya, granted he is also cute, if I were to break up with Troy?!]

The article is entitled “How to write about Africa”. See if you can spot the sarcasm.

Binyavanga Wainaina

Always use the word ‘Africa’ or ‘Darkness’ or ‘Safari’ in your title. Subtitles may include the words ‘Zanzibar’, ‘Masai’, ‘Zulu’, ‘Zambezi’, ‘Congo’, ‘Nile’, ‘Big’, ‘Sky’, ‘Shadow’, ‘Drum’, ‘Sun’ or ‘Bygone’. Also useful are words such as ‘Guerrillas’, ‘Timeless’, ‘Primordial’ and ‘Tribal’. Note that ‘People’ means Africans who are not black, while ‘The People’ means black Africans.

Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these. If you must include an African, make sure you get one in Masai or Zulu or Dogon dress.

In your text, treat Africa as if it were one country. It is hot and dusty with rolling grasslands and huge herds of animals and tall, thin people who are starving. Or it is hot and steamy with very short people who eat primates. Don’t get bogged down with precise descriptions. Africa is big: fifty-four countries, 900 million people who are too busy starving and dying and warring and emigrating to read your book. The continent is full of deserts, jungles, highlands, savannahs and many other things, but your reader doesn’t care about all that, so keep your descriptions romantic and evocative and unparticular.

Make sure you show how Africans have music and rhythm deep in their souls, and eat things no other humans eat. Do not mention rice and beef and wheat; monkey-brain is an African’s cuisine of choice, along with goat, snake, worms and grubs and all manner of game meat. Make sure you show that you are able to eat such food without flinching, and describe how you learn to enjoy it—because you care.

Taboo subjects: ordinary domestic scenes, love between Africans (unless a death is involved), references to African writers or intellectuals, mention of school-going children who are not suffering from yaws or Ebola fever or female genital mutilation.

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July 15, 2018 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment


The blogger tries to think outside the box, or wonder why she sometimes can't.

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"I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint." - Antonio Salieri, from the movie "Amadeus"

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